The Bitterwine Oath
by Hannah West
Published by Holiday House
Releasing on December 1st, 2020
YA FICTION—Mystery, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Horror
Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
Hannah West is the author of young adult novels including The Nissera Chronicles and The Bitterwine Oath. She’s always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She’s a freelance writer living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious rescue dogs.
Review of The Bitterwine Oath
Review (4.5 Stars): The Bitterwine Oath was a magical, spellbinding mystery where the past always come back to haunt us. I loved the spooky atmosphere of this tale and Natalie was the perfect person to hunt down what was really happening in her small town before it was too late. The story was well-written and it definitely drew me in from the very first page until the climatic end. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author.